Italy’s ’green pass’ becomes compulsory on long-distance public transport from Wednesday

Italy's ’green pass’ becomes compulsory on long-distance public transport from Wednesday
Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP
Police stepped up patrols at train stations and airports across Italy on Wednesday after protests were threatened against the expansion of the health pass scheme.

Starting September 1st, Italy’s coronavirus ‘green pass’ health certificate is now obligatory for passengers on some forms of public transport, including long-distance trains, domestic flights and ferries.

Under the new decree law, school and university staff will need the pass in the new school year, as will university students. 

The certificate has already been required since early August to enter cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues, or to eat indoors at restaurants.

READ ALSO: Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s Covid health pass

The health certificate proves bearers have either been vaccinated with at least one dose, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or have tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

The Italian interior ministry ordered police checks to be strengthened at train stations, ports and airports across the country from Tuesday night after anti-vaccine protesters said they planned to disrupt the public transport network, Rai reports.

The leader of Italy’s neo-fascist Forza Nuova group, which is among those organising protests against the health pass and Covid-19 vaccines, told the Adnkronos news agency: “We will be in all stations to block departing trains” on September 1st.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said there will be ‘zero tolerance’ for anyone found guilty of trying to interrupt a public service, which is a crime in Italy, while trade unions stated that “anyone who decides to interrupt services, in the name of the freedom to not get vaccinated, will not have our support”.

So far no major disruption or delays have been reported.

Photo: Piero CRUCIATTI/AFP

What are the new rules?

The pass will now be required when boarding domestic flights and ferries as well as international services. It will not be a requirement on city buses or other forms of local public transport.

All passengers on high-speed train services (Le Frecce and Italo) and on Intercity services will also need to show a ‘green pass’.

The pass will be verified on board the train along with tickets, reports Italian news agency Ansa

READ ALSO: What changes for tourists coming to Italy in September?

“In the event that the traveller does not show the pass or it turns out to be invalid, the traveller is invited to move to an area reserved for passengers without a green pass and will have to get off at the next stop,” Ansa writes.

The Strait of Messina ferry route, which connects Sicily with mainland Italy, is considered a local public transport route and is exempted from the requirement, according to the Italian news site Avvenire.

Children under 12 are exempt from the ‘green pass’ requirement. The rules apply to everyone over that age, including tourists.

Italy recognises all equivalent health passes from other EU countries and proof of immunisation issued from any of these five non-EU countries, including on paper.

READ ALSO: Can tourists and visitors use Italy’s Covid ‘green pass’ to access museums, concerts and indoor dining?

That means visitors just need to carry the official proof of vaccination issued by your home country, such as a CDC-approved vaccination card from the US, a provincial immunisation card from Canada or an NHS vaccination certificate from the UK.

If you do not have a pass from one of these countries and plan on using public transport or going to a venue or event in Italy that requires a green pass, you will need to get tested in Italy (or elsewhere in the EU) in order to claim a certificate that remains valid for 48 hours.


Member comments

  1. Can anyone help me in a) telling me what sort of covid test is needed to fly back from Venice to U.K., b) does the certificate have to be in English and c)where can I get the relevant test – can you just drop in at a local farmacia?
    Finally, how hellish are the immigration queues at LHR/LGW?
    Thanks in anticipation…

  2. My colleague is an Italian Citizen but was vaccinated in the USA as he splits his time between there and Italy. I know in theory his CDC vaccination card should allow him the same access as a Green Pass when in Italy, however does anyone know if there is a way he can get an EU vaccine certificate / Green Pass through his CDC card proving his vaccination, so he has one for good? This will avoid any issues with venues / vendors that may decide not to accept the CDC card.

    1. How can you get a Green Pass as an American?

      If you only hold a USA passport, you won’t be able to get a green pass before you get to Europe.
      Once you’re IN EUROPE, however, you can get a Green Pass by simply getting a Covid test in Europe. On our recent trip to Italy, we presented ourselves at a pharmacy, took a quick antigen test, and the Green Pass was in our email inbox within about 30 minutes.

      1. Stephanie, I am a dual citizen and have an Italian passport but was vaccinated in US. So that means your comment still applies to me?

  3. What about travelers from US, assuming allowed entry to Italy with proof of vaccination and negative COVID test? Will CDC vax card be accepted for the long distance trains?

    1. How can you get a Green Pass as an American?

      If you only hold a USA passport, you won’t be able to get a green pass before you get to Europe.
      Once you’re IN EUROPE, however, you can get a Green Pass by simply getting a Covid test in Europe. On our recent trip to Italy, we presented ourselves at a pharmacy, took a quick antigen test, and the Green Pass was in our email inbox within about 30 minutes.

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